Malachi 1

Verse 9. I will bring the third part through the fire] The

Christian Church shall endure a great fight of afflictions, by

which they shall be refined-not consumed.

They shall call on my name] In this way shall they offer all

their prayers and supplications to God.

I will say, It is my people] The Church that I have chosen in

the place of the Jews who have filled up the measure of their

iniquity.

And they shall say, The Lord is my God] And thus communion

shall be established between me and them for ever. Thus there

shall be a general restoration.

THE BOOK

PROPHET MALACHI

Chronological Notes relative to this Book

-Year from the Creation, according to Archbishop Usher, 3607.

-Year from the vocation of Abram, 1524.

-Year since the destruction of Troy, 787.

-Year since the commencement of the kingdom of Israel by the

Divine appointment of Saul to the regal dignity, 698.

-Year from the division of Solomon's monarchy into the kingdoms

of Israel and Judah, 578.

-Fourth year of the ninety-fifth Olympiad.

-Year from the building of Rome, according to the Varronian

computation, 356.

-Year before the vulgar era of Christ's nativity, 397.

-Cycle of the Sun, 5.

-Cycle of the Moon, 4.

CHAPTER I

This chapter begins with showing the great and free favour

which God had manifested to the Israelites, above what he had

done to the Edomites, who are threatened with farther marks of

the Divine displeasure; alluding, perhaps, to the calamities

which they suffered from Judas Maccabeus and John Hyrcanus,

(see 1Macc 5:65, and Joseph. Antiq. xiii. 9,) 1-5.

God then reproaches his people, and especially their priests,

for their ungrateful returns to his distinguished goodness, 6.

They are particularly charged with sacrificing the refuse of

beasts, 7-9,

for which God threatens to reject them, 10,

and choose other nations who will show more reverence to his

name and worship, 11-14.

NOTES ON CHAP. I

Verse 1. The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by

Malachi.] This prophet is undoubtedly the last of the Jewish

prophets. He lived after Zechariah and Haggai; for we find that

the temple, which was begun in their time, was standing complete

in his. See Mal 3:10. Some have thought that he was contemporary

with Nehemiah; indeed, several have supposed that Malachi, is no

other than Ezra under the feigned name of angel of the Lord, or my

angel. John the Baptist was the link that connected Malachi with

Christ. According to Abp. Usher he flourished B.C. 416, but the

authorized version, which we have followed in the margin, states

this event to have happened nineteen years later. Both the Hebrew

language and poetry had declined in his days.

Israel.-Here means the Jewish people in general.

Verse 2. Was not Esau Jacob's brother?] Have I not shown a

greater partiality to the Israelites than I have to the Edomites?

I loved Jacob] My love to Jacob has been proved by giving him

greater privileges and a better inheritance than what I have given

to Esau.

Verse 3. And I hated Esau] I have shown him less love;

Ge 29:30, 31. I comparatively

hated him by giving him an inferior lot. And now, I have not

only laid waste the dwelling-place of the Edomites, by the

incursions of their enemies; but (Mal 1:4) they shall remain the

perpetual monuments of my vengeance. On the subject of loving

Jacob and hating Esau, see the notes on Ge 27:21-46, and

Ro 9:13. Let it be remembered, 1. That there is not a word

spoken here concerning the eternal state of either Jacob or Esau.

2. That what is spoken concerns merely their earthly possessions.

And, 3. That it does not concern the two brothers at all, but the

posterity of each.

Verse 4. They shall build, but I will throw down] We have

already seen enough of the wickedness of the Edomites to justify

the utmost severity of Divine justice against them. The pulling

down predicted here was by Judas Maccabeus; see 1Mac 5:65; and by

John Hyrcanus; see Joseph. Antiq., lib. xiii. c. 9. s. 1.

They shall call them, The border of wickedness] A wicked land.

Among this people scarcely any trace of good could ever be noted.

Verse 5. Your eyes] Ye Israelites shall see, in your succeeding

generations, that-

The Lord will be magnified] By his kindness in Israel, and his

judgments beyond.

Verse 6. A son honoureth his father] I am your Father-where,

then, is my honour? Where your filial obedience?

If I be a master, where is my fear?] The respect due to me.

Verse 7. Ye offer polluted bread] The priests, probably to

ingratiate themselves with the people, took the refuse beasts,

&c., and offered them to God; and thus the sacrificial ordinances

were rendered contemptible.

Verse 8. Offer it now unto thy governor] pechath, a word

signifying a lieutenant, or viceroy, among the Chaldeans, Syrians,

and Persians; for neither at this time, nor ever after, was there

a king in Israel.

Verse 9. Beseech God] There were evident marks of God's

displeasure in the land, and it was occasioned by these pollutions

through the priests. And now he exhorts them to pray to God that

they may be pardoned: for, if this practice be persisted in, God

will not accept any offering made by them.

Verse 10. Who is-among you] From this we learn that there was

not one sincere or honest priest among them. They were selfish and

worldly; and so basely so, that not one of them would even kindle

a fire on the hearth of the altar unless he were paid for it.

Verse 11. From the rising of the sun] The total abolition of the

Mosaic sacrifices, and the establishment of a spiritual worship

over the whole earth, is here foretold. The incense of praise, and

the pure offering of the Lamb without spot, and through him a

holy, loving heart, shall be presented everywhere among the

Gentiles; and the Jews and their mock offerings shall be rejected.

Verse 12. Ye have profaned it] Ye have desecrated God's worship;

is it any wonder that God should cast you off, and follow you with

his judgments?

Verse 13. Ye have snuffed at it] A metaphor taken from cattle

which do not like their fodder. They blow strongly through their

nose upon it; and after this neither they nor any other cattle

will eat it.

Ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick]

There had never been such abominations in the Divine worship

before. What was of no worth in itself, and what could not be used

by its owner, was brought to God's altar, and offered for

sacrifice! Was not the punishment of these wretches less than

their crimes?

Verse 14. Cursed be the deceiver] Those who act thus, as they

cannot elude God's notice, so neither shall they escape his curse.

And voweth, and sacrificeth-a corrupt thing] The history of

Ananias and Sapphira, Ac 5:1, &c., is a complete comment on this.

It was high time to break up this corrupt service; and after this

time God does not appear to have paid any regard to it, for he

sent them no other prophet.

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